AMO is providing information to members on a number of recent developments this week concerning housing and homelessness prevention:

Homelessness Funding

The Province announced it is providing $587 million over two years to municipalities and District Social Service Administration Boards (DSSABs) through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI). These funding levels are consistent with the commitments made in the 2014 Provincial Budget. AMO has long advocated for continued enhancements to provincially funded housing and homelessness programs.

Funding homelessness prevention programs helps the most vulnerable residents in our communities. It will help the Province, municipalities, and DSSABs to work towards the goal of ending homelessness to fulfil the provincial commitment made in the renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy. Programs such as the CHPI are essential to this effort to help those who are homeless to become housed. Sustaining social housing and building new affordable housing units must also be part of the equation. Enhanced, long-term federal-provincial funding programs are also needed to make this happen.

More information on the allocation of the $587 million is found on the Government of Ontario’s website: Ontario Allocates $587 Million to Help End Homelessness.

Toronto Releases Study Demonstrating the Return on Investments in Social Housing

The City of Toronto highlighted this week the urgent need for capital repairs of its social housing stock owned and managed by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). They released a study that clearly makes a solid business case for investments in social housing which will result in socio-economic benefits to the City.

While the case study concerns Toronto’s public housing, this study easily stands for other communities elsewhere in Ontario. The accumulating capital repair backlog in social housing portfolios across the province are of increasing concern. AMO stands with Toronto in calling upon the federal and provincial governments to make sustained investments in social housing.

More information on the study is found on the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s (TCHC) website: Investing in TCHC revitalization and repairs creates jobs, spurs economic growth.

The study by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis is found also on the TCHC website: Socio-Economic Analysis: Value of Toronto Community Housing’s 10-Year Capital Investment Plan and Revitalization.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Pre-Budget Submission

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released their pre-budget submission for the 2015-16 Federal Budget. In the submission, FCM makes the link between affordable housing and healthy communities as well as illustrating the economic return on investment. FCM is calling upon the federal government to continue investing in housing and to create incentives to increase rental housing stock. Specifically, the recommendations are:

  1. Protect and make permanent Canada’s $2.072 billion annual federal affordable housing programs and investments; and,
  2. Preserve and increase affordable rental housing through tax incentives aimed at removing barriers to new affordable and market-rental housing (i.e. Eco-Energy retrofit, Rental Incentive Tax Credit).
AMO supports FCM efforts to advocate for stronger engagement by the federal government in the housing sector.

The Budget Submission is found on the FCM website: Strengthening Canada Through Our Hometowns: FCM Budget 2015 Submission.
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